A guide to raising Other Fauna
To raise and release any native species requires you to have a license from D.E.R.M. If you are interested in becoming a carer, please read through this site, then contact this group or another to find out about joining.
This information is a guide only. Practices change and are updated constantly.
What is "Other Fauna?"
Other Fauna are little creatures who do not fall under the usual categories of possums, gliders, birds and reptiles.
These animals do not come into care often, but often enough that we still need to cover them.
Many people do not understand that many of our ground fauna look like domestic rats and mice, when in fact they are native species. There are only three introduced species of rodents in Australia, and the rest of these little creatures were here before we were!
So what are the species we are talking about?
Australia has the highest rate of extinction of native species, not something to be proud of. Maybe we should start here by asking “which species do we still have left?” According to scientific history, of the 60 mammal species that have become extinct in the past 500 or so years, 20 of them were Australian.
Australia has 378 species of mammal, which includes macropods, phascogales, possums, wombats, bandicoots, dunnarts, antechinus, bettongs, potoroos, flying foxes, quolls, and some aquatic species like seals, dolphins and whales. We have a plethora of rodents, marsupials and bats.
Marsupials have vanished almost entirely from other continents, to be replaced by placental mammals. However due to Australia’s isolation our marsupials have thrived. Most marsupials are nocturnal, although some, like numbats are diurnal, as are echidnas. Others are crepuscular, hunting at dawn and dusk.
The only places on the earth where the three basic types of mammals live side by side are Australia and New Guinea.
The difference between these three sets of mammals is the way in which they give birth.
1. Marsupials are born as undeveloped foetuses – there is no nourishment in the womb so the young are born almost prematurely, and struggle unaided to the mother’s pouch. Once there they become firmly attached to the teat, where they will remain until fully developed.
2. Placental mammals give birth to live young. This enables them to give birth more often.
3. Monotremes are the third group of mammals. There are only 3 monotremes in the world, including one in New Guinea. Monotremes lay eggs, but suckle their young on milk.
Many of our native species are animals that most of us are never going to see unless they are in a zoo. Our license covers us to take in any species in need, but some specific species must be handed on within 48 hours to a registered carer of that species. Platypus and echidnas fall into this category.
So, what are we likely to get??
Most often into care are bandicoots, phascogales and antechinus. These are followed by rats and mice. In the Brisbane area, there are some seven native species of rodents, with three domestic or introduced species. But how do we tell them apart? Introduced species have more beaver like teeth at the tip at the mouth on the upper and lower jaw. With the exception of the house mouse, the ship rat, and the sewer rat, plus two others, all rodents here are native and protected. We have a total of 64 native rodents. On average, a domestic rat or mouse has a tail longer than their body, whilst a native will have a tail shorter than their body.
What if I find one?????
The majority of animals that fall into this category usually do better with an experienced carer. If one of these species comes into your care, please try to get it into the care of an experienced person as soon as possible.
Water Rat - M.J. Robinson
Echidna - B. Clarke
Whiskas Bandicoot- B. Clarke
Harry Bandicoot- B. Clarke